Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Adding a Dynamic Total in Your Document.

Adding a Dynamic Total in Your Document

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 13, 2017)

You can use Word to easily create a document that dynamically reflects changing values. For instance, you may have a document in which you have several figures mentioned. This might be a collections statement you are sending to a customer. Later you need to total these figures so you can show a total amount due. You can use bookmarks and a field to calculate the total due automatically. This is done in the following manner:

  1. Select the first amount that you want included in the total.
  2. Assign a bookmark to the selected amount; give it a name such as Amount1.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for each of the other amounts in your document, providing different bookmark names each time.
  4. Position the insertion point where you want the total inserted.
  5. Press Ctrl+F9 to insert a pair of field braces. Make sure the insertion point stays between the braces.
  6. Type =Amount1 + Amount2 + Amount3, and so on, where these are bookmark names. Make sure you include the names of all the bookmarks you defined and that you want included in the total.
  7. Press F9 to update the field.

Now, any time you change the amounts that you bookmarked, the field you inserted in step 6 will automatically be updated to the correct total. (You may need to print the document to update the fields, or you may need to select the field and press F9.)

You should note that this technique will not work properly if the amounts are formatted. For instance, if the amounts you want to sum include dollar signs and commas, then these will interfere with getting a valid sum with your formula.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1342) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Adding a Dynamic Total in Your Document.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Tasks for Each Workbook

Excel allows you to control how it uses the Windows Taskbar. This tip explains the two ways Excel can use the Taskbar and how ...

Discover More

Running Macros in the Background

Want to run a macro in Excel, but not sure if doing so will tie up your computer? Here's how macro processing really happens.

Discover More

Proper Comparisons for Dates in Merge Fields

How Word merges a data source with a document is controlled by merge fields. In those fields you may want to compare dates to ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Sequentially Numbering Elements in Your Document

One of the most powerful and useful fields provided by Word is the SEQ field. This tip describes how you can use the field to ...

Discover More

Referencing Fields in Another Document

Sometimes you may have two documents that are so integrally related to each other that the one document may require the use ...

Discover More

Inserting a Document's Path

You can use the FILENAME field to insert a document's filename and, optionally, the path to that filename. However, if you ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is three minus 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.